Books That Didn't Make the Cut Pt. 4

October 10, 2022

It's Thanksgiving Monday here in Toronto and I'm about to get down to some serious eating, but I wanted to share another one of these posts before I do that. I've got so many of these books sitting on my shelves, not getting any shine, so I need to be putting these posts out a bit more frequently (hopefully).

Let me know if you'll be giving any of these books a chance!

Fall From Grace by Christine Zolendz

I'm finally home after struggling through my brother's illness and death. But, home is definitely a bit different. My best friend (the only person alive now that knows my secret) has a new boyfriend; and he has a friend. Shane Maxton: bad boy, tattooed rock god, eye candy extraordinaire. He is also New York City's most arrogant, self-serving, son of a, well, a definite one-night stand kind of a guy.

But, it doesn't matter to me because I've spent my existence looking for the love of my life, my angel. And, there is nothing that Shane Maxton can do to change that.

*** 1 star ~ I don't know what happened.
I've five-starred a bunch of this authors books and figured this one would be another win.
It wasn't.

I didn't like the heroine. AT ALL.
I think I would have liked the hero if he was allowed to grow. He didn't.
I couldn't care less about the side characters.
There was absolutely nothing 'mature' about this book.
It felt toxic. Like it was slowly infecting me with its fuckery.

The ending was where I found things to finally get interesting, but it was too late. I don't care!

────── ♔ ──────

A Dash of Death by Michelle Hillen Klump

Bad news for Samantha Warren: The plucky Houston, Texas, reporter lost her job and her fiance in rapid succession. But Sam has a way of making lemonade out of the bitterest of lemons. At a meeting of the local historical-homes council, she serves up the homemade bitters that she made as gifts for her wedding party. She intends to use that as her "in" to become an in-demand party mixologist. But the party's over for one of the council members, who keels over dead soon after he sips the bereft bride's bitter brew.

It turns out that the victim, Mark, was poisoned--his drink spiked with oleander. Since Sam mixed the drink that Mark imbibed right before his demise, she finds herself at the front of the suspect line. Now, she'll have to use all of her reporter's wisdom and wiles to clear her name.

Who could have wanted Mark dead? His wife, Gabby? His girlfriend, Darcy? Someone who wanted his seat on the council? Or another citizen of this sweet Texas town that holds some seedy secrets?

Job hunting, building her mixology business, and fending off late-night phone calls from her nearly betrothed don't leave much time for sleuthing. But if Sam can't "pour" over the clues to find the killer, it may soon be last call for her.

*** DNF ~ I found the protagonist, Samantha, to be completely unsympathetic and unfortunate. It was impossible to gain a vested interest in this story when it was her story. It didn’t help that my ARC had so many words missing letters, making it incredibly difficult to read. I did find that it was written well, however, it took way too long for something to actually start moving in this story. I called it quits at 38% and nothing really happened. There was a death, a mystery surrounding said death, Samantha acting like a poor imitation of an investigative reporter, her endless inner ‘poor me’ monologues because her fiance left her, etc.

I’ve read a lot of cozy mysteries and have enjoyed most. While this wasn’t for me, I can see how it could be a winner for someone else.

────── ♔ ──────

Damaged and the Beast by Bijou Hunter

Heir to the local motorcycle club and crime syndicate, Cooper Johansson is accustomed to taking what he wants. His newest conquest is college freshman Farah Smith.

When the tattooed bad boy reminds her of a rough childhood she desperately wishes to forget, Farah keeps him at arm's length. Yet, Cooper refuses to give up. He pushes her buttons, tears through her walls, and forces her to admit her feelings for him. What begins as lust soon builds into something more powerful than either expects.

Can the beast heal the damage inside the girl of his dreams?

*** 2 stars ~ Maybe if the entire story wasn't told from the heroine's pespective, I'd...

Maybe if the heroine could stop crying ON EVERY PAGE
Maybe if the hero was portrayed as something more than a bully I'd...

But alas, this book was chockfull of Farah whining, cringing, crying, running, crying, longing, crying, spazzing, crying, leaping to conclusions, crying...

You get it.


  1. I just love this feature babe! Its pretty awesome, and I would totally do it if i dnf'd more but this year I have been really good about what I pick up haha But the number one reason I DNF a book is the heroine so I can see that is a factor for you as well with these! Oh why can't authors write them better haha

    1. Thanks so much hon! 💜
      The heroines get to me every time. I don't care how good a story could be, if the heroine is a mess (and not in a good way), I'm not here for that.


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